Women take to Peace Bridge in anti-violence rally

Women and children making their way across the Peace Bridge in Derry on Friday for the release of balloons by Derry mothers against violence. (1703SL01)
Women and children making their way across the Peace Bridge in Derry on Friday for the release of balloons by Derry mothers against violence. (1703SL01)

Several hundred people attended a public rally on Derry’s Peace Bridge on Friday afternoon to call for an end to violence against young people.

The demonstration was organised by a group of concerned mothers, women, and local community workers called MOVE ON (Move Opposing Violence Everywhere in Our Neighbourhoods).

Hundreds of local women - many wearing white t-shirts - lined up side by side across the footbridge in a protest against the use of violence as a punishment against young people. Hundreds of white balloons were also released.

Speaking at the event, local community worker Maureen Collins said the women of Derry would not accept violence against their children.

“We are standing here as women and mothers, on the weekend of Mother’s Day because we felt this was the opportunity to highlight that we won’t allow violent attacks by any group against our young people,” she said.

The latest protest comes in the wake of a recent murder and shootings of young Derry men by vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD), who have also exiled a number of men from the city under threat of death.